§ Mr. Snow
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent it is his policy to encourage sugar beet production in the West Midlands either on the grounds of agricultural economy or of good husbandry, or a combination of both; and whether he is satisfied with the return to West Midland farmers on this crop.
§ Mr. Scott-Hopkins
It is our policy to provide opportunities for farmers to grow sugar beet in all parts of the country suitable for this crop, up to the limit of the total permitted acreage. About 30,000 acres are grown in the West Midlands. I have no detailed information as to the return given by this crop to West Midland farmers, but over the country as a whole the average return is such as to bring forward offers of contracts for a greater acreage than is available.